Lily @ 9 mon

Weight: 17lbs, 1 oz. (25%)
Height: 25.5 in (5%)
Head: (50%)

Lily is fast on her way to walking, she stands alone all the time, she runs around in her walker, and she crawls like lightning.

She has added two baby signs in the last few days, she signs Potty and More.

She loves baths and showers and had her first dip in the pool yesterday. She was completely delighted to be in that much water!

She loves cheese and cheerios and not much else. She is just learning to drink a bit from her sippy.

A Moment of Grace

I don’t put much on the Groft blog, in fact I don’t think I ever have. I tend to leave it all to Jenni. But I had a moment of grace yesterday (6/17/08) that I felt like I needed to post about.

If you know our family you probably know I work for our family business, testing the integrity of fuel systems and certifying the monitoring and leak detection systems associated with them. I have been with Mom and Dad for fifteen years now and they have said on several occasions that when they retire or, God forbid, pass away the business will be mine. It is a nice niche market but of course with any small business there are ups and downs. There are six fulltime employees and we are all related.

Summertime is a tough time in the industry especially here in Arizona. Most of the testing we do is during the day and is for the most part in the middle of the parking lot where there is little to no shade.

This past week my parents went back to Louisville, KY for a family reunion and at the last minute my brother Andy, who also works with us, decided to go back with them. I tried to keep a positive attitude about the whole thing, but after driving three hours to Yuma and doing a split shift, the devil got the best of me and I started to feel sorry for myself. I started wondering: “How can the company survive when half the employees go on vacation at same time? Am I the only one who cares about the future of the company? Are we in the right industry? How are we going to pay for the kids’ tuition this year?” I literally made myself sick worrying about everything.

I then remembered a magazine I had picked up the day before on sale at a catholic book store. It is called Magnificat and it has all of the readings for the days of the month. I opened to the morning readings for the day and started reading and when I got to the gospel it blew me away.

Matthew 6: 26-30
Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

Thank you, God. I am sorry for doubting your promise.

Rough Times at Mass

This morning’s mass was seriously a rough one. Lily started showing her mood this morning when I couldn’t finish putting my make-up on before she started throwing a fit. She wanted to be held. By me. And no one else.

We arrive at mass, choose our seats, and I take Max and Lily back to go potty and change Lily’s diaper. When we got back Lily began warming up her vocal chords and testing out the acoustics. She was singing, “mamamamama” but in the church it sounds like “MAMAMAMAMA“. She has also hit the point where, while she only wants to be held by me, she can slither and squirm at an unbelievable pace. It is like holding a wet cat through mass. A noisy wet cat.

Mass began. Max was sitting on one side of me, squirming quietly and Lily-the-wet-cat was thrashing around in my lap. During the songs the whole church is loud and I can stand up and bounce so we made it through that pretty easily. But then the readings began and we need to sit still and quiet. Lily was just not having it. She was winding up more and more, whining and thrashing and working up to a full cry. We make our escape just as the Psalm is ending. The next reading goes by in a flash. I bounced Lily near the door, hoping and praying that chaos didn’t break out in our pew in the mean time. Max, Tessa, and Ben were there all alone. And while I can count on both Tessa and Ben to sit still, I can’t count on them to not get into a full out brawl with Max if Max decides to act up.

Then I hear the music start for the Alleluia.

Oh, shoot. I picked a bad time to leave mass! Max thinks the Alleluia is a party! He stands and sings it/yells it at the top of his lungs and sometimes gets up to try to climb the pew in front of us or dance in the aisle. His exuberance is delightful – as long as I am right there to moderate it a little bit. But now I have Lily fussing on the sidelines and I have to make a run to get back to our pew before my little Pentecostal gets all excited.

So I run. I get there just in time to stop him from climbing over the pew in front of us, but unfortunately I scratched him with a hangnail while trying to pry him off that pew. So instead of singing he spent the Alleluia pouting, even after I kissed it an apologized (all the while still wrestling Lily-the-wet-cat).

Then the homily. Ben asks if he can go get a drink because he feels sick to his stomach. Um, yes. Lily settles in to nurse and drifts off to sleep. Oh, thank you God. Now I can sit still for a moment and maybe hear something that Father is saying since I have completely missed the readings. Nope. Max keeps trying to get as close to me as he can and is bumping and waking Lily. Jay has come from the choir to sit with us and tries to occupy him by drawing him a picture. One more moment of peace. But just as Lily falls into a deep sleep Max bumps her and she bites down. Hard. So I carefully remove her from my breast, trying not to scream out myself, and she starts crying all over again.

So I take her out again, climbing over Jay and Max just to get to the aisle. I calm her down through the Creed and then come back to sit with the kids.

Sometime during the Consecration I discovered that the song sheet kept her fairly happy. So I let her tear one up and play put-this-on-my-head-let-it-fall-off for a few minutes until she started trying to eat it. Then I had to take it away and give her a toy, which she threw on the floor at least seven hundred times before we went up to receive Communion.

Through all of this Max was alternating sitting on the pew and the kneeler, asking me when it was time to go, and if there were donuts afterwards.

And then suddenly mass is over. How did that happen? I missed the whole thing again. I had a couple moments of prayer in there, the kids experienced the mass, and I certainly got to practice my Patience, so it must not have been a complete loss. But I tell you, I just need a nap now.

Sleep Trouble

The past few nights I have been waking up and sitting bolt upright in a panic, convinced that Lily is about to crawl off the edge of the bed. I frantically feel around the blankets only to discover that she is sleeping peacefully either in the pack and play or right next to me.

It finally occurred to me this morning at 4am when it happened again what this is all about.

Paisley is in the process of moving out.

It is not my youngest daughter that I am hunting for frantically in my half-sleep, but my oldest. This wide span of milestones has finally just fried my brain.

As of right now I have one child moving out, one learning to drive, one who is newly a teenager, a couple in normal childhood, one who is potty training, and one who is learning to walk and becoming more mobile all the time. No wonder my sleep is disturbed!

Waiting for a Sign

Lily can say a few words now. She says mama, dada, ball, car, cat and probably a few that we haven’t decoded yet. But at this stage of the game what I am really waiting for is for her to start signing. That is when language just takes off – at least it has for the last two kids.

She seems to be doing some “sign language babble” and moves her hands in specific ways that mean something. But just like verbal baby babble, it seems that one motion can mean several things and basically what she is saying (signing) is “I’m trying to tell you something.”

For now though, we have a little foreign language speaker and we wait each day for her to start speaking our language. Someday soon it will happen, but right now we are in the communication waiting room, waiting for that moment when her face lights up and she knows we can understand what she is saying to us.

R.I.P. Ringlets

I cut Tessa’s hair. It was so dry on the ends, it had to be done. But I hoped that cutting it would remove some weight and the curls would perk up more.

I was wrong.

She just has (lovely) deep waves. The ringlets are GONE.


Tessa's hair: Before Tessa's hair: Before


Tessa's Hair: After Tessa's Hair: After

A Sad Goodbye:

R.I.P. Ringlets

She is still my vivacious beautiful Tessa, she just has a little less hair to show for it. But she loves her hair and it is much easier for her to deal with now.

Car Seat Information

During the last year I have been reading up on Car Seat Information. I even briefly considered taking the course to become a Certified Car Seat Safety Technician, but the class fell on a week when I was 36 weeks pregnant and one of my babies was starting kindergarten… I just couldn’t miss that!

In an effort to help get the word out, I am going to collect links and information as I find them and keep them here – so that I can have access to them and others can too.

Stay tuned, I will be adding links as I find them!

First off: Arizona Car Seat Laws (which are very minimal!!!)

But better yet: Car Seat Usage Recommendations (more info coming soon) 2008 AAP Recommendations (note that they recommend rear facing as long as possible)

Study done in December 2007 at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Children 0–23 months were less likely to be severely injured when using a rear-facing car seat (RFCS) than a front-facing car seat (FFCS).
The benefit of an RFCS was particularly great in side crashes.
Children 12 months to 23 months old are five times less likely to die or suffer serious injuries in a crash when riding in rear-facing car seats than those in forward-facing seats.

Booster Info:
Seatbelt vs. Booster (PDF)
Seatbelt vs. Booster with more detail
Booster with only a lap belt?

The Importance of Rear Facing

Adult Belt is Not Enough (for a child who should be in a booster)
5 point harness vs. Booster
Compare a Rear Facing Crash Test to a Forward Facing Crash Test and see for yourself if extended rear facing is worth the trouble.
Toni’s Legacy (Sad story)
The Importance of a 5 point harness for children under 5

To ask a question from someone who really knows GO HERE.